On a recent trip to Melbourne I decided to hit up the Twitter peeps to see what people were recommending for a great dinner. Time and again Bang Pop Thai, on the South Wharf Promenade, came back as the place of choice. Authentic Thai street food sounded awesome and it was just over the Yarra from our Docklands office. So the guys at Bang Pop kindly booked me a bar seat and I brought one of my new team.
As an Irish-decendent from Boston, where roasted meat and potatoes are the norm, authentic Thai food is as foreign as cheering for the Yankees. But I've had the chance to try different tastes and flavours around the world over the last ten years and after our trip to Thailand for a wedding last year I've become a huge Thai food fan. I love the combinations of salty, sweet, spicy, and sour and the friendliness of the people only topped things off.
We started with a couple fantastic starting dishes but quickly set our sights on the jungle curry. Even though four different staff warned us (waiter, bartender, chef, host) we dove in. And we loved it! Just gorgeous.
In any way, I became a huge fan. And recently I connected with Chef Kam on Twitter and I went out on a limb to see if he'd do a guest blog for us. How lucky was I when he agreed straightaway! So, without further ado, here's his recipe for my fav, the jungle curry. If you're in Melbourne, you'd be foolish to not make it over their way asap.
Thanks, Chef Kam.
Gaeng bpaa kai - Chef Kam's Recipe
Jungle curry of chicken
- 20 gm dried long red chilli
- 150 gm dried scud chilli
- 160gm galangal
- 200 gm lemongrass
- 20 kaffir lime leave
- 300 gm garlic
- 70gm shrimp paste
- 100 ml veg oil
- 200-250 gm sliced chicken breast per portion
- 200-300gm shredded young bamboo
- 50-100 gm dry weight wood ear fungus- rehydrated
- 200-300 gm cleaned and batoned snake beans
- 2 cups thai basil-picked
- 1 lt chicken stock
- 50 ml water
- 50gm palm sugar
- 50-100 ml fish sauce
- 100 ml veg oil
Soak the chillis in boiling water until soft (30 min). In a food processor (we use a pacojet "lucky bastards - GM") break down the in ingredients hardest to softest. You should achieve a fine paste.
Dissolve the palm sugar in to the water
Slowly cook out the curry paste in the veg oil, it will become aromatic and darken slightly 10-12 mins.
Add your stock, chicken, bamboo and mushrooms, bring to the simmer and cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Add your basil and snake beans and let sit for one minute.
Adjust the curry with the palm sugar and fish sauce until you get a balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet.
Bang Pop Thai
35 South Wharf Promenade
(off Dukes Walk),
South Wharf, VIC 3006